DeMaurice Smith will remain executive director of the NFL Players Association after he was unanimously re-elected Tuesday.
According to Jim Trotter of ESPN, the selection committee voted 14-0 to keep Smith in charge.
The 53-year-old has been in this role since 2009. He provided a statement on his personal Twitter account following the news:
DeMaurice Smith @DeSmithNFLPA
#OneTeam https://t.co/Fjsi4b8TPe2017-9-20 01:07:13
NFLPA President Eric Winston gave his thoughts on the decision:
Eric Winston @ericwinston
My Statement: https://t.co/6I4Mu6pxse2017-9-20 00:55:17
Smith's three-year term was initially set to expire in March, with several challengers expected to make a run at the position, including attorney Cyrus Mehri. However, Mark Maske of the Washington Post reported new election procedures that barred any other candidates if first approved by the selection committee.
As Charean Williams of Pro Football Talk clarified, the position could only open up to an election if a majority of the 14-member committee voted against his return. A positive vote from seven to 13 members would have brought it to a vote from 32 team representatives, but the unanimous decision ended the process right away.
Albert Breer of The MMQB noted the impact with the new term running through 2021:
Albert Breer @AlbertBreer
The upshot of this for the NFLPA is that DeMaurice Smith will lead all negotiations with the NFL thru the '21 expiration of the current CBA.2017-9-20 00:57:03
Smith led negotiations during the last collective bargaining agreement that ended the 2011 lockout, although the next round could get even uglier with him calling a strike or lockout "almost a virtual certainty," per Breer.